For every home gaming console that you’ve seen in your time here on Earth, there’s been a memorable control pad that’s bundled with it, because if there isn’t, then there’s no fucking way you’d be able to play Streets of Rage on your Genesis. From the archaic Pong pads to what we see gracing our hands as we rev up our PS3s, control pads are more or less the vehicle through which we interact with our consoles to get the most out of our gaming software. Most of these wondrous tools are memorable, one-of-a-kind pieces of plastic and circuitry, but for my money, the most sublime of these belong to the NEC PC-Engine.
Maybe it’s in the way those two buttons are placed, or maybe it’s in the way the colors are stamped onto the rest of the pad (depending on if you’ve got the original, the Core Grafx pads and so on and so on), or maybe it’s all thanks to how it feels, but nothing seems so satisfying for console gaming that this slick son of a bitch. It’s hard to hate on the NES pad, except for how sharp those corners are, or the big smooth style of the Sega Genesis controller, and, yes, let’s not forget the wonder that is the Super NES control pad, but just look at the variety of design that this one control pad has for it’s various console incarnations. Just LOOK!!
Simple, sleek and satisfying, it’s no wonder so many retrogamers are in love with the PC-Engine. Forget that terrible font on the TurboPad from the TurboGrafx-16 and go japanese folks. My money is more on the blue Core Grafx pad than the orange since, you know, I LOVE blue, but the rest aren’t bad either. However, thanks to the rabid American retrogaming craze, it’s hard to snatch up some meaningful software for this console unless you’re willing to hand out a left arm for it. Still, if you can find something fairly good and fairly cheap, then go for it because that will be the only way you can experience the sublime…er, ness of the PC-Engine control pad. Game on, folks!!